By Ike C. Ibe
When I write, I do not seek relevance and I do not seek opportunities. I write because I’m relevant and have opportunity to write. When I penned my article last week titled ‘Ihedioha and the burden of history’ I didn’t know it will go extremely viral as it did. There is no blog I know of that has not republished it including some newspapers. It’s been shared on social media platforms by hundreds of handles. I’m glad people appreciated the candor in the article and it excited people inside and outside government.
My focus today is on political appointees directly. The success of any government depends largely on how the appointees behave. More often than not in our society, many appointees see themselves as daily companions of the Governor or President or their appointer. A commissioner or Adviser or Assistant is employed to do all they can to generate ideas and programs to ease the Governor’s burden of administration.
Sometimes appointees get lost in the trappings of office and loose focus and direction. Many appointees think they are paid to follow the Governor or President around everywhere he goes. They struggle to get a seat as close as possible to the Governor or President at public events. There are people who are paid professionally to follow the Governor or President 24 hours like his personal and protocol aides, security details, the media people etc. There are enough of them so the Governor won’t be lonely in public events.
Political appointees are paid to sit in their offices and do the actual government work. They are also paid to be out and about creating and supervising work of their Departments hands on. They only follow the governor out when a specific program or project relating to his or her Ministry or Department is being visited or inspected by the Governor where their inputs will be needed.
By appointing you and swearing you in, the Governor knows you already. All you need to do to get closer or relevant to the Governor is by excelling in your assignment, not going everyday to ask the governor what to do but by creating ideas and initiating programs and projects that endear you to the Governor and helping him to lead well.
Quite frankly, among the first set of appointees of Governor Ihedioha, I’ve noticed quite a number of them very visible and committed in their assignments and doing exactly what is expected of their positions. Alex Emeziem of Entraco and Emeka Okpokoro in Waste Management.
Eze Ugochukwu in Public Enlightenment, Ogu Bundu in Research, Abba Chimaroke in ICT, Estella Mbadiwe in Health, AIC Akwaradu all over the new media, Rex Okoro in youth programs etc. I see these appointees trying to make their mark already in a terribly depressed and traumatized society not caring whether the Governor is watching or not. But I believe he is seeing their activities.
The other cadre of appointees (Commissioners) have just started work and it’s too early to notice them. But I’m glad that I’ve seen some of them already out there on the beat. I’ve seen BEN Ekwueme inspecting the terrible roads, Chuma Nnaji at water installations, Vin Udokwu motivating staff at the teaching hospital etc.
We hope to keep seeing all the 17 Commissioners (Attorney General is more of office) and all advisers and assistants more at sites all over Imo state than at the side of the Governor. Of course, I give kudos to SGI Uche Onyeagucha, COS Chris Okewulonu and CTA Paschal Madu, all accomplished lawyers for helping the Governor maintain a steady ship so far.
From my investigations, I think Ihedioha has a Deputy, Gerald Irona, who is hands on and providing the much desired balancing effect for effective governance. An effective Deputy Governor is sine qua non to efficient administration of a state. The biggest disservice to the governor is if any of the team members pretend and dance surugede music around the Governor all the time. You must always let him know when things are going wrong or right and owe him truthful advice all the time. The stakes are high, the road is long, the work is tough and the times are rough.
All said and done, we have a long way ahead of development in Imo. Any government that parades only appointees that dwell more on eye service does not succeed. For all members of Ihedioha team who have all been noted as competent square pegs, IMO people and the governor are more interested in your SERVICE than your EYES. The success of Ihedioha and his team will be the joy of all of us. Our EYES are watching your SERVICE.
God’s speed to all of you.
- Ike C. Ibe is a Syndicated Columnist (Ikeibe2@yahoo.com)